Carcone's Auto Recycling & Wheel Refinishing

Tony Carcone discovered his dream career when he went to pick up a part at an auto recycling facility. A mechanic by trade, Tony looked around, saw the vehicles he loved to work on and decided this was what he wanted to do.

It would take him 17 years to realize the dream.

Tony helped his brothers run a gas station and automotive service shop while saving money to open an auto recycling business. In 1978, he was finally able to purchase a 10-acre facility in Aurora, Ontario, which would become Carcone's Auto Recycling & Wheel Refinishing.

Growing Pains

Tony's son Michael Carcone, now co-owner of the business, inherited his father's enthusiasm for auto recycling.

"When I was a kid, I'd go to his place of employment and clean his tools," he said. "I'd do whatever it [took] to be with him and to follow that dream."

That lasted until his father fired him.

"I was the owner's kid who [acted like I] knew everything," explained Michael. "I felt I could do no wrong. My father quickly put an end to that."

Michael still desired a career in the auto recycling industry, so he went to Northwood University in Dallas, Texas where he studied automotive marketing and management. He returned to Carcone's Auto Recycling & Wheel Refinishing ( five years later, ready for a new start. Tony was planning a trip to Florida at the time and, recognizing his son's new dedication to the industry, left him in charge of the business for the three months he was absent.

"I think I learned more in those three months than at any other time," noted Michael.

Family Atmosphere

Today, Michael is comfortably at the helm of the family business, which he co-owns with Tony and his sister Paula Badali. Michael's wife Carolyn works in bookkeeping while Paula's husband, Gus Badali, is responsible for delivery fleet and shipments. Claudio Russo, Michael's brother-in-law, handles production, dismantling and daily operations. Although Tony is now retired and living in Florida, he still helps at the business whenever he is in the area.

"It's a family atmosphere, even for employees who aren't related," said Michael. "We've got a good core staff that we've had for years. The average employee has been here 10 years."

The dedicated staff is just one reason customers choose Carcone's Auto Recycling & Wheel Refinishing. The business also carries most makes of vehicles and specializes in late models. Parts carry a standard 60-day warranty but customers can purchase extended warranties for parts and labor. The company ships throughout North America. Its parts customers are primarily wholesale and based in the greater Toronto area.

Carcone's Auto Recycling & Wheel Refinishing is currently the only auto recycler in Canada that provides a wheel refinishing service, according to Michael.

"We promote our wheel business at car shows," he said. "We have a strong Internet presence. In addition to our web site, we're on Facebook and Twitter. We run banner ads. We're trying different things this year."

Michael noted that customers now use the Internet to stay more informed.

"Now people are calling you, already knowing you have the product," he explained. "They may already have an idea of what they'll pay for a part. The customers I've gotten to know over the years make it all worthwhile. The people I'm working with make every day enjoyable. I like the fact that every day is different and there are new challenges."

Owners: Tony Carcone, Michael Carcone, Paula Badali
Location: Aurora, Ontario
Years In Business: 33
Number Of Employees: 50

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